Integrating Chicks w/ More Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RedDrgn, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    Due to an epic fail on the part of the USPS (a total nightmare), a shipment of 7 day-old, straight run, RO chicks ended up actually being 3 chicks, which are now 2.5 weeks old and doing well. We were shooting to end up with 3-5 pullets and one cockerel, but with only 3 having survived, there is no chance of hitting that mark. The breeder we got them from still had chicks from the same hatch that ours came from, so the plan is to ship another 6 chicks in ~2 weeks.

    They'll all be ~4.5-5 weeks old at that point, so my question is whether or not integrating the two "flocks" of chicks has a potential for problems. We usually start "official" main flock integration around 4-5 weeks, but I don't know if we should stagger that with each group of chicks (the 3 we have are already getting informal, short, and supervised introductions now), or make sure the chicks are all cohesive first. I know they start their pecking orders young, but typically not particularly viciously (that we've observed) like the adults can get. Still, we've never had to merge two groups of chicks before, so any input or advice is much appreciated. [​IMG]
     
  2. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    I think that at that age they should merge into one flock fairly easily. I'd just have them see each other, but not be able to come in contact for the first day or so and then just put them together. Hope it goes well for you!
     
  3. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    I think that will be Plan A, thanks. [​IMG]
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    They are living animals, you never get guarantees with how they will behave. But I agree that’s a decent Plan A. See if the chicks get along first. I haven’t been in that exact position before, I’m not sure what my Plan B would be. I’d lean toward getting the chicks comfortable with each other first before mixing them with the adults. That has more to do with working out sleeping arrangements than anything else. There could be some trial and error involved. Just stay flexible.
     
  5. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    I think Plan B will be to begin full on integration with our current 3 chicks, as we have plenty of room in our run to fence off a chick-only zone and keep them amidst the main flock. We could then keep the rest of the chicks in the grow out pen (only ~15ft from the main run, anyway) and work a slower introduction through free range time.

    We should be able to start picking out cockerels from pullets within a few weeks after that and will be able to transition to bachelor pen when not free ranging.

    Why do I feel like I'm planning a move or a vacation? [​IMG]
     

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